Books I’m Eyeing

Books I’m Eyeing is a (semi) weekly post showing off the books that some of my favorite websites have posted – the reviews that make me ache to get to my library. This is my way of directing attention to deserving websites and people within the genre community, while also thanking them for their contributions to the genre as a whole. I might not comment on other sites a lot, but I notice what people put up, and it always makes me so excited to be part of this exciting, constantly changing literary corner.

Here are the books I’m eyeing this week. What are you eyeing?

John Golden: Freelance Debugger – Django Wexler

Discovery blamed on: Ragnarok Publications

About the Book

John Golden is a debugger: he goes inside the computer systems of his corporate clients to exterminate the gremlins, sprites, and other fairies that take up residence. But when he gets a frantic call from Serpentine Systems, a top-of-the-line anti-fairy security company, John finds out he’s on much more than a simple smurf-punting expedition.

With the help of his sarcastic little sister Sarah (currently incarnated in the form of a Dell Inspiron) and a paranoid system administrator, John tackles Serpentine’s fairy problem. But the rabbit hole goes deeper than he thinks, and with the security of all of the company’s clients in danger, there’s more at stake this time than John’s paycheck!

Traitor’s Blade – Sebastian De Castell

Discovery blamed on: Nerds of a Feather

About the Book

The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening…

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they’ll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor’s blade.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns – Rae Carson

Discovery blamed on: On Starships and Dragonwings

About the Book

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

The Almost Girl – Amalie Howard

Discovery blamed on: Rob Bedford and A Fantastical Librarian

About the Book

Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.

Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

Academic Exercises – K.J. Parker

Discovery blamed on – Weirdmage and Far Beyond Reality

About the Book

Academic Exercises is the first collection of shorter work by master novelist K.J Parker, and it is a stunner. Weighing in at over 500 pages, this generous volume gathers together thirteen highly distinctive stories, essays, and novellas, including the recent World Fantasy Award-Winner, “Let Maps to Others”. The result is a significant publishing event, a book that belongs on the shelf of every serious reader of imaginative fiction.

The collection opens with the World Fantasy Award-winning “A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong,” a story of music and murder set against a complex mentor/pupil relationship, and closes with the superb novella “Blue & Gold,” which features what may be the most beguiling opening lines in recent memory. In between, Parker has assembled a treasure house of narrative pleasures. In “A Rich, Full Week,” an itinerant “wizard” undergoes a transformative encounter with a member of the “restless dead.” “Purple & Black,” the longest story in the book, is an epistolary tale about a man who inherits the most hazardous position imaginable: Emperor. “Amor Vincit Omnia” recounts a confrontation with a mass murderer who may have mastered an impossible form of magic.

Rounding out the volume—and enriching it enormously—are three fascinating and illuminating essays that bear direct relevance to Parker’s unique brand of fiction: “On Sieges,” “Cutting Edge Technology,” and “Rich Men’s Skins.”

Taken singly, each of these thirteen pieces is a lovingly crafted gem. Together, they constitute a major and enduring achievement. Rich, varied, and constantly absorbing, Academic Exercises is, without a doubt, the fantasy collection of the year.

(If you click on the picture it will take you to the Subterranean Press page where you can preorder and etc).

12 Responses

  • I edited Django’s book so I know you will like that one.

    I have both the eBook and a mysterious physical copy of The Traitor’s Blade. The publisher enclosed a letter that I have yet to open with the book. This book is being pushed as the mysterious letter and the envelope it came in al had the cover art stamp. Really want to read this but have one more book to read first before I get to it.

    Curios as to what you think about the others listed there as well.

  • Love me some K.J. Parker! Although I must admit, the author (whoever he or she is) excels at smaller stand alone novels and short stories, so this collection looks especially promising! I read the Engineer Trilogy and it just wasn’t as good as her stand-alone novels. Cool cover too!

    • I think I’d sell my soul to get this anthology. I did a mini interview with the author when SHARPS came out. I just about died from the happiness.

  • The more I think about it, the more I regret not accepting a review copy of John Golden when I was first offered it. I figured I wouldn’t have enough time to get to it, but now I’m thinking it’s probably one of those books that I’d MAKE the time for.

    Ah well.

    And I’m also looking forward to Traitor’s Blade. With luck I might be part of a Canadian blog tour for it, but even if not, it looks like a good book!

    • I can get you a copy of John Golden or you can talk to Melanie if you are interested.

      • I am totally interested. Also, how do you sign up for that editing gig? I’d love that.

        • I work for Ragnarok as their editor. If you need a copy Sarah let me know and I will have our amazing PR person send you one.

  • Traiter’s Blade is my current all time favorite book. It’s so exquisitely written, its just a real masterpiece I think.

  • *locks you in a room with Girl of Fire and Thorns* >.> 😀

  • I’ve really come to love K.J. Parker’s books since I first read Sharps a while ago. It’s been hard finding her/his other books since then though. I ought to just bite the bullet and order them.

    Also liking the sounds of Traitor’s Blades. Love this feature you have! It feeds my addictions very ably 🙂

  • I’ve run hot and cold with K.J. Parker, but damn, that collection looks like a must-have for me. I love it when authors pepper their short story collections with non-fiction essays.

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